ITALIAN

Wineries of the Month

Tasca D’Almerita Winery

Tasca D’Almerita Winery
200 years of slow Maturation. Our story is written in the land, the same land where for eight generations we have dedicated the attention and love that you devote to a family member. Our grandparents taught us to respect the land, keeping an eye on the future. And this vision, still today, allows us to have thriving vineyards and rich, fertile land to farm. Over the years, a precise project to enhance and develop native varieties and territories with greater wine-growing vocation led us to expand. In addition to the historical estate, Regaleali, we now have Capofaro on Salina, in the Aeolian islands; Tascante on Mount Etna; Whitaker on Mozia in the province of Trapani; and Sallier de La Tour in the DOC Monreale area. Each of these estates has a story to tell, each one recounts a different Sicily. The greatest challenge for us now is that of preserving these places to leave our children a better environment, with constant attention to safeguarding each individual ecosystem.

Bodegas Morgante Winery
The Morgante winery represents one family’s initiative to employ five generations of viticultural experience. In 1994, Antonio Morgante, with the enthusiasm of his sons, Carmelo and Giovanni, decided to vinify their vineyard grapes. This decision represented the beginning of a strong commitment to achieve the best results with indigenous grapes while keeping an eye toward innovation. In 1997, the family hired Riccardo Cotarella as their winemaker. Cotarella, widely recognized for his work crafting compelling wines from Italy’s native varietals, shares the Morgante passion for producing great red wines from Nero d’Avola.

In Sicily, Nero d’Avola is the undisputed red grape for wines of excellence, and it is this vine that the Morgante family has always cultivated. All aspects of production — from vineyard to cellar — are rigorously controlled by every member of the family, all of whom are dedicated to making wines of the highest, possible quality.

 


CALIFORNIAN

Winery of the Month

Highway 12 Vineyards

Highway 12 Vineyards
Through legendary Sonoma Valley and the famed Carneros District, California Highway 12 is the quintessential Wine Road. Home to dozens of world renowned vineyards and wineries, this region has been the heart of Northern California’s Wine Country since the first plantings in 1825. Recognizing that our winery, and our neighboring wineries, owe much to this corridor, we proudly assumed the name and the responsibility of honoring its historical significance.

Long-time friends Michael Sebastiani and Paul Giusto decided to pave their own wine road as stewards of the Highway 12 name. These guys are the “real deal” with three generations of winemaking tradition. With their long term partnerships with premium growers, they continue to produce high quality, value wines from Sonoma County and other California growing regions.

As hands-on owners, this commitment shows through in everything we do. Simply put, no task is too big or too small in our quest to make every sip of our wines be the best it can possibly be.

Longboard Vineyards
Longboard Vineyards was established in 1998 by Oded Shakked. A walking melting pot, Oded was born in Israel and has lived and worked (and surfed) on four continents. He fell in love with northern Sonoma County in the late 1980’s and in his words: “I felt roots growing from the bottom of my feet.” With more than thirty years spent making wine – Oded is as stoked as ever every time a harvest approaches. To him, winemaking is a perfect combination of Art, Science and Agriculture; a craft that keeps you on your toes and never ceases to teach you something new – just like surfing does.

At Longboard, Oded loves to engage in conversations with folk visiting our tasting room, sharing his winemaking knowledge and encouraging everyone to trust their own palates. Warm, confident, independent, refined but down-to-earth; Oded’s personality is reflected in every wine he makes.

 


ITALIAN Wines of the Month

SiciliaARTISAN SERIES

2016 Tasca D’Almerita sicillia Nero d’Avola Regaleali Rosso
100% Nero d’Avola
Alcohol: 13%
Bright ruby-red color, this wine offers layered notes of cherry, mulberry and raspberry. On the palate, it is complex and supple, with ripe berry flavors framed by silky tannins. A delicious Sicilian red. The right choice for eggplant parmigiana, pasta with meat sauce, meatballs, sausages, pizza and roasted meats.

2017 Tasca d’Almerita Sicillia Regaleali Bianco
39% Inzolia, 33% Grecanico, 19% Catarratto, 9% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 12%
Straw-yellow in color, aromas of green apples and pitted fruits complement undertones of pears and grapefruits. On the palate, crisp acidity and a rich body make for an easy-to-drink white wine that is particularly refreshing on a hot summer day. This wine is great as a sipping wine, but it also pairs well with antipasti, ceviche, pulpo gallego, and Asian cuisine.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2016 Tasca D’Almerita Sicilia Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC
100% Nero d’Avola
Alcohol: 13.5%
Intense ruby-red in color, Lamùri offers lush aromas of black cherry, black fruits, vanilla, tobacco, and wild herbs. On the palate, velvety tannins and refreshing acidity make for an elegant, expressive, crowd-pleasing wine. Pair this wine with spaghetti and meatballs, Bolognese sauces, pappa pomodoro, and lamb kebabs.

2016 Bodegas Morgante, Sicilia Nero d’Avola
100% Nero d’Avola
Alcohol: 14.5%
This wine shows aromas of ripe black cherries and blackberries accompanied by hints of vanilla, peppery spice, and smoke. On the palate, abundant flavors of ripe fruit and exotic spices are balanced by a pleasing acidity and silky tannins. Enjoy with simply seasoned grilled meats and vegetables, alongside legume-based stews and with flavorful seafood preparations such as Zuppa di Pesce.

2017 Tasca D’Almerita Terre Siciliane Leone d’Almerita Tenuta Regaleali
47% Catarratto, 22% Pinot Bianco, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Traminer Aromatico
Alcohol: 13%
Bright lemon-green in color, Leone offers aromas of pink grapefruit, orange blossom, white peach, and pin apple. On the palate, it is fruit-forward and rich with good acidity and a pleasant finish. Pair this wine with calamari fritti, remoulades, roasted chicken,and migas.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2016 Tasca D’Almerita, Siciia Cabernet Sauvignon Tenuta Regaleali VIgna San Franceso
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.5%
Deep purple in color, aromas of red cherries and black fruits complement undertones of vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, and mint. On the palate, it is silky, concentrated, elegant, and balanced with a persistent finish. Pair this wine with roasted beef, mushroom sauces, roasted fennel-stuffed rabbit, and gravy covered Yorkshire pudding.

2015 Bodegas Morgante Sicilia Nero d’Avola Don Antonio
100% Nero d’Avola
Alcohol: 15%
Don Antonio is a rich wine that offers voluptuous aromas of ripe black cherry, raspberry, black plum, and wild flowers, followed by spicy notes of chocolate, black pepper and cinnamon. It is a silky yet muscular red, with a lush fruit texture beautifully integrated with chewy tannins. Pair with roasted or grilled pork chops, roast beef, barbecued ribs and medium-aged cheeses.

ITALIAN Region of the Month

Sicilia

Some say that today, Sicilians have less Italian blood in their veins than Phoenician, Greek, Arabic, Norman, Spanish, or French. Because Sicilia is on a crossroads between Europe and Africa, it has been overrun by many different cultures, which have left their traces on this beautiful island, the largest in the Mediterranean. The Greek cities of Sicily flourished during the 6th and 5th Centuries BC, and their ruins are some of the most impressive outside of Greece, especially the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento. Today, Sicily is the leading wine region in Southern Italy, its wines garnering many awards. Mt.Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, is one of the most exciting vineyard locations in Italy, and is attracting much attention and investment. The white Bianco d’Alcamo and the red Cerasuolo di Vittoria show notable class. Increasingly prominent are the fruity aromatic whites, Inzolia, Catarratto, and Grecanico. Native reds have also achieved prominence, such as Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, and Perricone. The newly introduced French varieties, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are also producing exciting results.


 

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month

SonomaARTISAN SERIES

2016 Highway 12 Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County
87 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 % Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot
Alcohol: 13.9%
Cedar overtones supported by the round mid-palate body and tingly tannins on the edge of the finish. Entry Exhibits soft earthones on the nose with hints of cherry, blueberry and a vanilla-softness. Pair with Veal Shank served with chevre laced organic polenta.

2018 Highway 12 Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County
100% Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County
Alcohol: 13.9%
Youthful and bright with its clean, citruszested nose, fround and fruity, yet refined. Mid palate notes of green apple with a slightly lingering tropical fruit finish. Pair with minerally raw oysters, steamed clams, or Asian fare.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2016 Longboard Vineyards North Coast Point Break Red
36% Syrah, 44% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.5%
Lush entry with a medium-full body and a very lengthy finish with just enough acidity to pair with a nice steak, lamb, or rich pasta dish. Fruity with Cabernet induced tannins and deep flavor with an earthy, spicy finish.

2016 Longboard Vineyards Russian River Merlot Dakine Vineyard
87% Merlot, 13% Malbec
Alcohol: 14.5%
Lush with black currant, violet, and blueberry aromas with that signature note of wild fennel. Generous mid-palate is full of sweet-tasting tannins and dark chocolate flavors. Pair with a rare Filet Mignon or a beef carpaccio

2018 Longboard Vineyards Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol: 13.4%
Tropical fruit and floral characters, balanced by a lively acidity. As it ages, some honey and apple pie characteristics will start developing, adding richness and depth to the wine. Pair with a fresh green salad with fennel shavings, ruby red grapefruit, or your favorite fresh seafood dish.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2015 Longboard Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.8%
Dark stone-fruit character when young (plum, black cherry) developing a strawberry and rose-petal aroma. Mild palate with a long, supple finish. Pair with Salmon, aged cheeses and a variety of meet cuts.

2016 Highwayman Proprietary Red Blend Reserve Sonoma County
65% Zinfandel, 35% Petite Sirah
Blackberry and blueberry nuances take center stage, creating room for the supportive tannins and a touch of oak. Ripe berry, jammy profile coupled with the fortitude that Sirah produces the perfect blend of yin and yang here. Pair with a sweet, salty, savory dish like Korean sticky ribs.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month

Sonoma

Russians planted the first vineyards after establishing a colony at Fort Ross on the Pacific in 1812. In 1824 while he built the Mission in the Town of Sonoma, Father José Altimira planted grapevines to provide sacramental wine for religious services and for the table. Sonoma County is large and boasts a huge diversity of vines and wine styles because micro climates, soils, and topography are infinite. Some of these micro climates are hospitable to grapes that require warmer temperatures, like Cabernet Sauvignon and associated Bordeaux varieties or Zinfandel and other Mediterranean grapes. The County also offers cooler areas where Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and additional white varieties thrive. Marine fog, breezes, and cool nights prolong ripening to produce complex flavors. Sonoma County so far includes 16 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) recognized by the Federal government. AVAs include Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Green Valley, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain District, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley.


 

DINNER WITH DEBRA

By Debra Williams

Pineapple Salsa

1 20 oz. can Dole Pineapple Tidbits
½ cup red bell pepper finely chopped
¼ cup green bell pepper finely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped green onion
2 tsp. fresh cilantro chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped jalapeno
1 tsp grated lime peel.

Drain pineapple; reserve ¼ cup juice. Combine pineapple, reserved juice, bell peppers, onion cilantro, jalapeno and lime peel in bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

Taste of Home Recipe
1 ½ cups buttermilk
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, halved
½ tsp salt

12 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 4.5 lbs. Place buttermilk, thyme, garlic and salt in a large bowl or shallow dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Enjoy with a glass Sauvignon Blanc. Perfect pairing. Drain chicken, discarding the marinade. Grill the breasts, covered, over medium heat until a thermometer reads 165 degrees, for 5-7 minutes per side.